A prison guard indicted in February for allegedly abusing an inmate of an all-female prison in Dublin is facing more charges that he did the same to two other inmates.
John Russell Bellhouse was indicted by a federal grand jury for alleged sexual abuse charges against two additional female inmates, according to an announcement Thursday from U.S. Attorney Stephanie Hinds.
Bellhouse was a correctional officer and, in earlier stories, was described as having been a prison safety administrator.
"The additional charges unsealed today demonstrate the priority the Department of Justice has placed on prosecuting cases of sexual misconduct by Bureau of Prison employees," said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco. "We have no tolerance for correction officers who betray the trust placed in them to safely and humanely care for those in their custody."
The grand jury originally charged Bellhouse, 39, formerly of Pleasanton, on Feb. 17 in an indictment that alleged Bellhouse committed sexual abuse against a female prison ward between February and October 2020.
Prosecutors said that for the new indictments, one of these contacts is alleged to have occurred between October and December 2020 and the other on Oct. 22, 2020.
The indictment is part of an ongoing investigation that has ensnared several former workers at the prison, including some leaders.
Former chaplain with the Federal Bureau of Prisons James Theodore Highhouse pleaded guilty Feb. 23 to five felonies for abusing an inmate sexually and then lying to federal agents.
Former associate warden Ray Garcia was indicted in August on seven counts of sexually abusive conduct towards three female prisoners and lying to government agents about it.
Former correctional officer Ross Klinger was arrested June 30, 2021, on suspicion of abusing an inmate sexually.
Another former correctional officer, Enrique Chavez, was charged in March with two counts of abusive sexual contact against an inmate.
"The safety, security, and integrity of federal prisons are of the utmost importance, and the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General will continue to aggressively pursue allegations of abuse at FCI Dublin and across the BOP," said Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz.
A jury trial is currently set for June 5, 2023, in U.S. District Court in Oakland.